C-Rap Rations for the Hippest of Snarklings Part 2

"Aren't you Rube, the Grim Reaper in Dead Like Me?

As he turned to look at me, an expression of amusement spread over his face like a wave of sunshine over a cloudy field. "I'm not a grim reaper in real life," he mimicked "but I do play one on TV!"

Your description slows down the narrative. Unless his expression of amusement does something to further the story, I'd take it out.

I was stuck in a hotel elevator with the actor Mandy Patinkin. I didn't recognize him until the elevator jerked to a stop between the eleventh and twelfth floors. It was just the two of us: me, a 20-something single woman having one of the best-hair days of my life and wearing my skinniest jeans, and the guy who, upon closer examination, played Rube in Dead Like Me.

Unneeded exposition. We get the elevator part from the next sentence.

"I'll bet you get asked that a lot, huh"

"Not really. Usually they ask if I'm Dr.Geiger, or sometimes they recognize me from Yentl. But you're the first person who's ever asked me if I was the Grim Reaper."

"Did it make your day?"

"Yes it did." His laugh, by the way, is charming.

Here's one of my biggest snarlie points. You've got us in the elevator with Mandy and the skinny jeans girl We're hanging on to every word to find out what happens. Then, you break our concentration by essentially turning to the audience and commenting on what's going on "his laugh by the way is charming"
"His laugh was charming" doesn't break the narrative line.

We stood there, he on his side of the elevator and me on mine, smiling and waiting and feeling rather awkward if truth be told. I noticed that he wasn't wearing any shoes or socks. He was wearing a two-piece suit, with the shirt pulled out, but no shoes. I wondered if he had been locked out of his room. I wondered if he was even staying at this hotel. Maybe he was having an affair with a woman who was staying here and her husband walked in on them. Then he left in such a hurry that he forgot his socks and shoes. Oh, Lord, the silence was beginning to feel even more claustrophobic than the elevator. At least Mandy Patinkin's feet didn't smell.

"If truth be told"is the same concentration breaker. Leave out "I noticed"cause we're pretty sure you aren't strip searching him. It also shortens the sentence and gives it more dynamic Ooomph.

"Who's Dr. Geiger?"

I'd read on if only to find out if Mandy Patinkin goes berserk in the elevator.


ScaramoucheX said...

I think your comments are prescient and practical, Snark, if you are intersted in the furthering the STORY...but I would possibly read a novel for what it reveals about the mind of the central character or, in this case, narrator. I would hope to find the 'story' secondary and non-intrusive and perhaps amusing, but not to get in the way of a rich exposing of a mind...But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Without an actual story, though, who gives a shit about what a character's feet smell like?

rosemerry said...

I am Inigo Montoya.
You killed my father.
Prepare to die.

sorry couldn't help it. That's all I could think about when I read the name Mandy Patinkin

Anonymous said...

I'm with Miss Snark on this one.
Having a famous actor (with a girl's name) and a 20-something woman stuck in an elevator together is an enticing opening and the writing could've been a lot worse.

If this was accompanied by a good cover letter, I'd read the first few pages at least.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post a comment for an ancient history post, but for anyone curious in hearing THE REST OF THE STORY (tm/pp), this story made the cut at www.escapepod.org, July 2, 2006. It is recorded for your listening pleasure and available for free download. No catch. No ads.